China can adjust its COVID-19 vaccines swiftly against emerging variants
By Liu Wei
A man receives COVID-19 vaccine in Beijing, January 30, 2021. /CFP

A man receives COVID-19 vaccine in Beijing, January 30, 2021. /CFP

China can swiftly adjust and manufacture its inactivated vaccines to fight new mutant COVID-19 variants, an expert said at a press conference on Friday.

The entire vaccine production process needs no big adjustment to manufacture the vaccines that beat new mutant strains, Shao Yiming, chief expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) said when asked about the mutant variant spread in India.

The vaccine can be made more effective against new variants by just tweaking the components during production.

"We are capable of updating the vaccine as long as the data and the researches show it's necessary to do so," Shao said.

Shao said the CCDC will obtain the new mutant virus strains via international cooperation. Shao added the researches on the variants have been ongoing and the vaccines are under evaluation for effectiveness. "We are researching and collecting data on the variant in India since it emerged."

He stressed current vaccines are effective on most of the COVID-19 variants and called for the public to get vaccinated to stop the mutation. "The virus mutant strains will keep emerging only if the viruses can keep spreading."

"Data shows China's inactivated vaccines and the mRNA vaccines developed by other countries are effective to the variants first detected in UK, South Africa and Brazil." 

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